Bike and Barge Holland: Southern Tour
| Ship De Amsterdam
It doesn’t get any better than the Holland Southern Tour on board your home away from home, on the barge De Amsterdam. Not only will you get the chance to visit a number of famous Dutch cities, but you will also uncover another side of Holland as you cycle through the countryside – the country’s “Green Heart”. It is here that you will see a landscape of water, meadows, grazing cows, windmills and picturesque farms… it is a landscape that is impossible to feel or look any more Dutch. In short the Southern tour is the perfect tour for anyone wanting to see as much of “typical” central Holland as is possible in one week. What you will come away with at the end of the tour is a greater appreciation of why this part of the Netherlands attracts so many visitors from all corners of the globe every year. As well as being able to discover the natural beauty of Holland’s Green Heart you will visit:
- The world famous city of Amsterdam
- Utrecht, the geographical center of Holland
- Rotterdam, the busiest port in Europe
- Delft, a city with close ties to the Dutch Royal family and the world renowned painter Johannes Vermeer
- Haarlem, a sightseers’ paradise
Other attractions over the course of the tour include the cheese city of Gouda, the windmills at Kinderdijk, the silver city of Schoonhoven, the dunes and beaches of the North Sea coastline and the open air museum “Zaanse Schans”. For the duration of the tour you will live and travel on board De Amsterdam.
Semi-guided cycling tours: daily individual cycling at your own pace. The tour leader also cycles all tours and is available for tips, directions and in cases of emergency.
Fully guided cycling: On a few departure dates (De Amsterdam: May 8, 15, 22 and 29, June 5, 12 and 19, Sept. 4, 11 and 18) you can book a “fully guided” option. That means you will cycle with a tour leader in a small group of max. 20 guests. The surcharge for this ‘fully-guided’ option is € 130 p.p.. If you have already booked the semi-guided tour on one of these dates, you can add the “fully guided” option (limited availability).
Tour Program the Netherlands: Southern Tour | De Amsterdam
Day 1 (Sat): Embarkation: Amsterdam
Embarkation and check-in from 2 pm in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to go shopping, to explore downtown Amsterdam, to make a canal cruise or to visit a museum Welcome drink, dinner and first briefing on board. First night on board in Amsterdam.
Day 2 (Sun): Amsterdam – Breukelen | Breukelen – Utrecht (approx. 25-40 km**/16-25 mi.) | Utrecht – Rotterdam
Your first cycle tour starts in Breukelen. You’ll tour along the beautiful and winding river Vecht with its enchanting background of imposing castles, country houses and quaint tearooms. You will follow the Vecht into the center of Utrecht where you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful historical city center: the Dom Cathedral with its tower, the canals, special shops and nice cafes. In the afternoon you will continue by ship from Utrecht to Rotterdam.
Day 3 (Mon): Rotterdam – Schiedam – Delft – Rotterdam (approx. 28-50 km/17-31 mi.)
Today you will cycle via the “jenever city” of Schiedam and through the Delfland area to Delft, famous, of course, for its blue pottery. Visit the beautiful city center with its small canals, picturesque streets, bridges and alleys. For many of our guests a visit to the Delftware factory is one of the highlights of their tour. Afterwards, you will cycle back to Rotterdam, where you can enjoy a short city walk in the evening.
Day 4 (Tue): Rotterdam – Alblasserdam with the “waterbus” | Kinderdijk – (Gouda) – Schoonhoven (approx. 30-58 km**/19–36 mi.)
Today you can cycle the first part or the “waterbus” will take you and your bicycle to Alblasserdam. After just a few minutes of cycling you will reach Kinderdijk (UNESCO cultural heritage, with its impressive row of 19 large windmills). You then have the choice between a longer bike tour with a visit to the beautiful cheese city of Gouda and a short bike tour through the Alblasserwaard. Both tours end in the “silver city” of Schoonhoven, where you can visit a silversmith.
Day 5 (Wed): Schoonhoven – Oudewater – Utrecht (approx. 45 km**/28 mi.) | Afternoon: Utrecht – Haarlem
Today you will cycle from Schoonhoven through the beautiful “Green Heart” of Holland along small villages and quiet roads to Utrecht. On your way you can visit a traditional cheese farm and in Oudewater you can visit the Witches Weigh House. In the late afternoon the ship will sail from Utrecht to Haarlem.
Day 6 (Thu): Haarlem – North Sea coast – Haarlem (Approx. 40-50 km**/25-31 mi.) | Evening: Haarlem – Zaandam
Today you can choose from 2 bike tours. Both tours takes you through the beautiful Kennemer dunes, a national park where you can spot several bird species, Scottish Highland cows and Shetland ponies. After a visit to the seaside resorts Bloemendaal and Zandvoort you cycle through the forests and the center of Haarlem back to the ship. The longer cycling tour leads to the largest steam engine of the world, the Cruquius pumping station and back to Haarlem. During dinner your ship will cruise to Zaandam.
* Departures dates between April 6 and incl. May 2: From Haarlem you have the opportunity to visit the world famous Tulip exhibition park “Keukenhof” in Lisse (by bicycle or public transport; transfers/tickets/entrance fee not included).
Day 7 (Fri): Zaandam – Amsterdam (Approx. 30-45 km/29-28 mi.)
From Zaandam your final day of cycling will take you to the open air museum the Zaanse Schans (free entry), with its beautiful windmills, an Old Dutch village with traditional wooden houses, a cheese farm and a traditional wooden clog maker. After exploring the museum you cycle through the recreational area “Twiske” back to Amsterdam. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy everything Amsterdam has to offer. If you didn’t go for a canal tour on the first day, you will have the opportunity to do so today.
Day 8 (Sat): Disembarkation: Amsterdam
Disembarkation after breakfast: End of your trip.
Parts that are printed in italics parts will be covered by the ship.
All distances are “approximate distances” of recommended bike tours. The tour details are barring changes, a.o. as a result of nautical, technical or meteorological reasons.
A knowledgeable and multilingual tour leader is available on board. He/she will provide you with all necessary tour information during daily briefings. You will cycle the tours independently, at your own pace, with the help of a detailed cycling map, GPS-tracks and printed route notes (available on board). The tour leader will also be cycling the daily tours and can – for assistance – be reached on his/her mobile phone in cases of emergency or technical breakdown of the bicycle. During days when several bicycle options are possible, not all mentioned highlights can be visited during the shorter cycling options.
If you don’t feel like cycling for a day (or more) you are welcome to relax and stay on board while the ship is sailing. But please note: lunch will not be served on board. So you can enjoy your packed lunch. On the arrival (first) day it is possible to put your luggage on board from 11:00 a.m..
- 8 days/7 nights
- 7 x breakfast
- Packed lunches
- 7 x 3-course dinner
- Coffee and tea on board till 4 PM
- Welcome drink
- Use of bed linen and towels
- Daily cleaning of the cabin
- Climate-controlled cabin
- Daily briefings
- Semi guided cycling tours (guest cycle independently, tour leader also cycles the tour);
- Some short walking tours
- Maps and notes for cycling tours (1 set per cabin)
- GPS tracks
- Use of a waterproof pannier bag
- Live music on board
- Coffee and tea on board after 4 PM
- Bicycle rental or E-bike rental
- Helmet rental
- Personal insurances
- Gratuities (at your discretion)
- Entrance fees and excursions
- Fees for ferries/waterbus
- Transfers to/from the docking place
- Parking fees
Additional options & information
- Rental bicycle: € 80 per week
- Rental E-Bike: € 180 per week (only on request, limited number available)
- Helmets: A helmet can be rented for € 10 per week, only on prior reservation and payment.
- Limitation of liability (damage) rental bicycle €10/week
- Limitation of liability (damage) rental e-bike €25/week
- Canal cruise Amsterdam: Ticket for a 1-hour canal cruise through Amsterdam – special price for our guests: € 13 (at the ticket desk approx.: € 16). Please book your ticket in advance and you can collect it on board of your ship on the first day of the tour.
- Fully guided cycling: On a few departure dates (De Amsterdam: May 2 and 23, June 13, Aug. 29 and Sept. 12) you can book a “fully guided” option. That means you will cycle with a tour leader in a small group of max. 20 guests. The surcharge for this ‘fully-guided’ option is € 125 p.p.. If you have already booked the semi-guided tour on one of these dates, you can add the “fully guided” option (limited availability).
- Parking in Amsterdam (valet parking): prices and pre-booking on request.
Optional visits (entrance fees not included, but for our guests with discount/several with discount or free of charge): * Delftware factory * Visitors center windmills Kinderdijk * St. Jan’s church Gouda * Cheese farm Oudewater * Silversmith Schoonhoven * City hall Zaandam and more…..